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Asolo's British Classic Makes for a Raucous Romp

Published Saturday, January 11, 2014

SARASOTA – Fans of British humor will not want to miss the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training's production of Joe Orton's 1965 dark comedy Loot, currently playing at the Cook Theatre in the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. The regional premiere takes a hilarious look at the dark side of London during the swinging ’60s, in what was for the time period, a very bold satire of Catholic norms and the integrity of Scotland Yard.

The two-act work centers around the funeral of Mrs. McLeavy who has just passed on as the play opens, On the day of her funeral, her teenage son Hal (Jory Murphy) and his pal Dennis (a hilarious Mathew Anderson) rob a bank and attempt to hide the loot, while the pious Mr. McLeavy (Michael Frishman) grieves the loss of his wife.


photo by Frank Atura

All three must deal with the sinister house nurse, Faye, played with delightful animation by Olivia Williamson, while Scotland Yard's Inspector Truscott (Brian Owen) attempts to solve the case of the missing loot. Owen steals scene after scene, demonstrating deft comic timing and commendable stage presence. Frishman convincingly plays a much older Mr. McLeavy, while lending the play its balance and Murphy's solid turn as the wild, teenaged Hal rounds out the virtuoso performance.

Loot is an excellent opportunity to enjoy a quintessential British comedy, while experiencing what was truly a revolutionary bit of social satire at a time when so many of today's topics would have been far beyond reach. Loot runs through January 19, 2014, at the Cook Theatre in the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

Productions are Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m.; Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $29 evenings; $28 matinees. Students receive 50 percent off with advance ticket purchase. For more information, visit the Asolo website.

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